We know hearts. We know how they work and how to take care of them. Our experts are by your side to help you prevent heart disease. We provide the education, screening and risk assessments you need to make healthier choices for life-long wellness.
BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Our cardiologists and their teams provide comprehensive prevention services for people with heart disease risk factors. We’re your partners for long-term heart health, now and through every stage of life.
- Screenings and tests for early heart disease detection: Early detection is key in managing heart disease and reducing its risks. Our range of heart tests, from routine screenings to diagnostic imaging, allows us to identify the signs of heart disease early.
- Care coordination with other providers: Your cardiologist works closely with exercise physiologists, nutritionists, surgeons and other providers to coordinate your care. You have easy access to multiple experts from one source.
- Education and resources for heart health: We refer you to the services you need for better heart health. From smoking cessation to weight loss programs, we help you make a plan to reduce your heart disease risk factors.
Certain factors increase your risk of heart disease. There are some risk factors for heart disease that you can control or treat and others that you can’t change. Our heart experts work with you to identify your personal risk factors and help you make a plan for better heart health.
Cardiovascular risk factors that you can’t change include:
Family history, such as a parent or sibling with heart disease
Gender, with men having a higher risk until women reach menopause
Increasing age, in men age 45 and older and women age 55 and older
Cardiovascular risk factors that you can manage or treat include:
High stress level
Lack of physical activity
Lack of sleep
Obesity and excess weight
Other conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes
Tobacco smoking, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other materials with nicotine
You can take steps to reduce your cardiovascular risks and improve your overall health:
- Eat healthy foods: Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Reduce sodium, sugar and saturated fats.
- Exercise: Get regular exercise. Your doctor can recommend a level of physical activity that’s safe for you.
- Limit alcohol: Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
- Lower stress: Manage your stress with practices such as yoga, exercise, meditation and social activities.
- Maintain a healthy weight: A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help with weight control.
- Manage chronic conditions: Talk to your doctor about managing diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Sleep: Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Talk to your doctor if you have insomnia, sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.
- Stop smoking: Don’t smoke, vape or use smokeless tobacco. Avoid secondhand smoke.